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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We set off on this cruise in a state of trepidation.....would we manage the formal evenings with two under 30s?, would the food be mediocre? would the service be lacking? Well we were blown away! I wondered if I should write this review as ... Read More
We set off on this cruise in a state of trepidation.....would we manage the formal evenings with two under 30s?, would the food be mediocre? would the service be lacking? Well we were blown away! I wondered if I should write this review as this ship was so amazing that I didnt really want to share! Anyway here we go.... Food in Britannia restaurant was better than Celebrity, ...halibut, turbot, lobster in a week. Lovely Japanese options including an excellent miso soup, Italian pasta we couldn't fault, tea and coffee and home made marshmallows and chocolate creams to finish. Breakfast in Britannia was excellent, go there if you can. Afternoon tea......what can I say...lovely. Lido restaurant was a full step ahead of other cruise lines, you really didn't think you were in "motorway services". Tea and coffee for breakfast served to your table, no battling with teapots etc etc Room steward, excellent nothing too much trouble. Take on a bottle or two, top up at a port call......you need to do this as alcohol is extortionate! So service better than someone like Celebrity. Formal nights were a breeze, do as you will. Just join in, fellow passengers are lovely! Never worry you will find somewhere to sit on this ship wherever you are, seats and beautiful sitting areas a plenty. Don't forget the library, amazing! Any downsides? She can be a little noisy but not enough to spoil your holiday. Please don't tell anyone about this beautiful ship...keep it a secret please? Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This is our first cruise with Cunard and it was excellent in most ways. We have sailed with TUI Marella and P&O before and we expected Cunard to to head and shoulders better....it wasn’t though. Now that’s not to say it was ... Read More
This is our first cruise with Cunard and it was excellent in most ways. We have sailed with TUI Marella and P&O before and we expected Cunard to to head and shoulders better....it wasn’t though. Now that’s not to say it was poor, because that’s not true....it was wonderful, but it just says to us that tge other cruise lines are also good. The quality of food and in particular the amount of free-space was welcomed and certainly different to what we found on the rather cramped and poorly organised Azura. The Q.V. is lovely and all staff were helpful, polite and professional. Before going we were concerned that there may be a “class system”....but there certainly wasn’t, we felt very welcomed and the service and food in food in the Lido Restaurant was wonderful.....one very small point, they could do with a few more waiters offering beverages in there. Not everyone wants to dine in tv more formal venues, borne out by the fact that tge Lido Restaurant was always busy, but not cramped....to have an offer of a drink would have been nice. Entertainment was fine, we have seen better productions on TUI and P&O but the shows were fine. The outside acts were fabulous however....We are very confused why we were charged a daily service charge, PLUS, if we had a drink from the bar we had a further service charge added.....it’s like a double insult!.....other than these very small points, it was outstanding and we would recommend to everyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
65th Husband's birthday in May 2019. Sailing time evening. We arrived 2 pm. Relaxing start to cruise was the Southampton embarkation and disembarkation. Never sailed from Southampton before always fly cruised. Felt the start of ... Read More
65th Husband's birthday in May 2019. Sailing time evening. We arrived 2 pm. Relaxing start to cruise was the Southampton embarkation and disembarkation. Never sailed from Southampton before always fly cruised. Felt the start of cruise as soon as on the ship.Cases were at our cabin before we even arrived at the door. Was a bit concerned about whether the ship would be too posh for us and too big as previous cruises have only been with Marella Cruises tui but did need to worry at all. Lovely step up size. You can dress up and go over the top or just formal and smart, which was us. Men I do need suggest a black tie / or tie and and white shirt with a jacket. used most evenings in the bars and restaurants. 3 tiers to this ship money wise: but we on this ship but we did not feel out of place. even though they have the Britannia club, we went with our budget and was more than happy.We had booked an early saver for this ship and was very lucky as we had a balcony cabin on deck 5. Never had a balcony before. We went to eat in the Lido buffet as hungry. Good standard of food, although two buffet restaurants, one was geared to more Asian food.Although buffets were cleared sharply on time for change over meal times. Lovely views out of the windows. I requested early sitting at dinner, although not guaranteed we had been seated for 6 pm in the Britannia restaurant.Later I wished we had the later eating time because if you eat late breakfast or have afternoon cream tea lovely..... then you are not really hungry at 6 pm. Britannia restaurant is waiter service. Small portions, but four courses. Personally not a lot of choice but I managed as I am not a fussy eater. Enough for us.Although someone was on our table and had been on the ship before, so knew she could order soup as a starter. Pointer: if you drink alcohol and like your drink and do not want to be worrying about the cost of drinks every time you order one, then suggest the drinks package.15% is added to every drink and it is dollars.it can be expensive and not worth it if you are not going to use your allowance. Average 4 double gins and 3/4 beers a night is worth it. But my husband got more than his worth and did not worry about ordering which is what I wanted for him to enjoy his birthday week. As for me not worth it... I only had a couple on non Alcohol cocktails and a tea or coffee. But a tip''''' They say you have to buy two the same drinks package, I don't drink and only wanted the soft drinks package and my husband wanted the drinks package, they will not let you buy one of each..... but argue this if this is the case and they will let you in the end.You are given an on board card for all your spending and a sticker is put on if you take the drinks package. Don't keep your on board card next to your phone as it wipes your account and it is a pain to keep renewing it from the purser and you cant get into your room without it. Staff were from around the world We had some nice and some not so friendly.. so we asked for our gratuities back from the purser . we then tipped who we wanted. Some bar waiters really nice, some not so. Absolutely lovely meal in the special La Pizza restaurant. Extra $19 dollars each bookable. Need to learn the corridors when you come out the ship as you have a long walk otherwise. Deck 2 was where the reception was. Deck 3 was the lovely Gin Bar and the pub bar was the meeting place in the evening for karaoke and quizzes. other bars were relaxing,as so the extra places like the library etc. Music was played by musicians in the evenings as so dancing if you wanted it. if you book any birthday meals in the Veranda restaurant make sure you have your booking ticket with you. If you book a photograph go and see the photographer beforehand as they do not come to you. The Manager is lovely Warren such a lovely man.Made our evening really enjoyable and memorable. Joe the steward look for him he is good as well.Dennis is also good as so was Ronaldo. Casino staff good very friendly but easy to get hooked so be aware. lol. Excursions okay. Beautiful scenery even if you do not get off. You can do as much or as little as you want on or off ship in the way of exercise. We booked online before we left. Book before hand for Flamm as very popular and will not get booked up on ship. We were lucky with the weather, we had sunshine and 20 degrees in May. We actually swam in the ships pool and Jacuzzi. They have a spa and hydrotherapy pool but these are extras. Down sides ? a bit poor on the theatre shows and not much show of the captain and his staff unless you mix a bit upper class.Purser staff a bit offish with you when you have issues except for the younger girl staff.she was helpful. Cabin steward a bit aloof. Just did the basics.did not go out of his way at all.One or two staff unfriendly but then a very mixed employment of staff so some very helpful others not so. Same with some people on the ship s cruise.Best thing is to just enjoy your selves and not worry about the others. Disembarkation was a bit of a free for all. should have been a bit. more organised/. Britannia club and people with coaches go first then every body has to wait until these people are cleared. then they like release you all at once and every body wants to race to get off at once. so you have people coming from their designated areas from like 8 am and from their cabins or other waiting areas trying to leave and disembark at once. Overall a lovely week. will definitely cruise Cunard Queen Victoria again/ Cannot comment yet on the other ships. Will definitely sail Cunard Queen Victoria again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew ... Read More
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew are always happy to have a chat, they smile and are sincere. Formal nights are now called Gala nights but the themes remain the same. One of the main reasons we sail with Cunard is because we like the formality of dressing up properly in the evenings. We also enjoy dancing in the ballroom to live band music. The singers can vary in ability though and this time we had an excellent lady singer and a dreadful male. Cunard are very clear that ‘dressing’ is a requirement and you know what you are signing up for before you embark. There are areas that can be accessed for those who wish to dress more casually. As for drinks prices - if you are used to London prices, cocktails and beer are comparatively priced, however wine is expensive. This trip followed the aforementioned Baltic, and I see that a previous passenger complained that the ship was too cold. I guess that they changed the air con to suit this as we spent our trip too hot! If you have never done the fjords trip, you really should. We’ve done it twice now, both times on QV. The weather was amazing, 24c in Haugesund. Norway is expensive, however the scenery is fantastic and there are things you should see before global warming has its way. The Briksdal glacier for instance, is a shadow of its former glory and yet remains an awesome sight. So if you are someone who likes to dress properly, enjoys politeness and old fashioned service, Cunard is for you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We've cruised some over the years: river, small ship, big ship. It's a great way to travel. Queen Victoria is the most gorgeous ship I've ever seen. I was so immediately "at home", all the positive reviews of her ... Read More
We've cruised some over the years: river, small ship, big ship. It's a great way to travel. Queen Victoria is the most gorgeous ship I've ever seen. I was so immediately "at home", all the positive reviews of her are true. I am grateful to Cruise Critic reviewers for all their information, it really made a difference. Actually, we found our cruise to be better than the reviews. While there certainly could be more horizontal space in the cabin for "your stuff", and the bathroom is tiny, that's about the only change I'd make. We dined mostly at the Lido buffet and the food was amazingly good with great variety. Service was adequate. The "activities" were fine, we didn't participate much. An artist demo was a waste of time, but Big Dave who manages the Goring, a luxe London hotel was great. The entertainment was mediocre to awful, the "Hollywood" production was the worst I've ever seen. Most staff was polite and professional; interesting to realize after a couple of days that they lack the seemingly-genuine friendliness of the crew on all the other cruises we've taken. Exception was the bar staff in the Chart Room ... most of them were barely civil. Embark and disembarkation was handled very well. Except for one thing: COMMUNICATION We had issues with the Drinks Package and were run around in circles almost 2 days. Communication overall was pretty awful ... and non-existent when it comes to the ports. Cunard is only interested in selling their own shore excursions and provides absolutely no real information on the ports. I found their shore excursions so expensive that I didn’t book an. $59 for a 2-hour walking tour of a small Norwegian town?? Sure, there's a 2-page information sheet delivered the every evening, but it contains very little solid information. A perfect example is Olden. Cunard’s map is a big blob of grey surrounded by more shades of grey, lines that might be streets ... and not a word on the map. I had no idea who to ask, so I visited the Purser's Desk. Looking down, we had seen three little trains, some large buses and lots of activity on the dock. I wanted to go out to the new Loen Skylift, and there might be some other activities we'd like. The clerk shrugged her shoulders when I asked about the map. I was told to sign up for one of Cunard's shore excursions. She said "it's a small town, there's little to do". Really? Then why are we here? What about those little trains? Another shrug. Other passengers were asking the same questions and being given the same answers: "who knows?". This was beyond aggravating. I had extensive research notes on this cruise, but as you all know, some details can't be verified until you arrive at the dock. I could have purchased hours of internet from Queen Victoria and done more research for several hundred dollars, of course. Based on previous cruising experience, I did expect some level of information from the ship. This is Norway, after all, not the Caribbean where most ports are often quite alike. Another example: we had received an email announcing our last port would be hosting a big festival in honor of Norwegian Constitution Day, so no shore excursions. I was really looking forward to Haugesund and the festival. The daily news told us about a couple of parades, and that there would be shuttle busses running all day to the festival for people with limited mobility. That was the extent of the info. They had added a couple of shore excursions. The walk was supposed to be "ten minutes", but we've heard that before. My husband has had a hip replacement, so we boarded one of the busses. It took us to the bottom of a huge bridge over a big river, maybe 3 stories. We were expected to walk up this bridge and down the other side, or perhaps there were several flights of stairs, we couldn't tell. Coming back, we'd have to climb to the top of the bridge again. This was too much for people with limited mobility, that's for sure. There was no sign of a festival of any kind. We asked a couple of people returning to the ship and they confirmed that "the morning parades were the festival, there were no stalls with Norwegian goods or foods, no music, nothing much except a long line of bars and restaurants" on the water". Very disappointing. These two examples are merely that ... Cunard is a wonderful cruise line, Queen Victoria is just a gem and we enjoyed almost every minute. We'll cruise on her again for sure. But someone is not doing their assigned job on Queen Victoria. There's no excuse for not giving passengers any real port information ... just a bunch of fluff and history ... little about the activities available. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
There’s no point beating about the bush. Booking my first cruise filled me with dread; at one stroke I was destroying my credibility as an independent traveller. 15 years and 40 cruises later, I admit I couldn’t have been more wrong. ... Read More
There’s no point beating about the bush. Booking my first cruise filled me with dread; at one stroke I was destroying my credibility as an independent traveller. 15 years and 40 cruises later, I admit I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sea travel has opened up a new world of exploration and last week I repeated my first ever cruise, but this time with Cunard. Would the grand histories of the Baltic ports be matched by the royal splendours of Queen Victoria? THE PORTS Every city on the Baltic itinerary is steeped in history and if palaces, galleries and cathedrals are your thing then this cruise does not disappoint. And if, like me, you appreciate Scandinavian art and design, the ports have some wonderful specialist shops and art studios as well. Be prepared for eye watering prices, however. A cup of coffee and a pastry in Copenhagen for £9 is one thing, but £925 for a cake slice is quite another, albeit an exquisite one designed by Georg Jensen. St Petersburg remains the highlight destination and these days there is more of an effort to make visitors feel welcome: immigration formalities have been streamlined and stern faces replaced with occasional smiles. This is one port where organised excursions are the only way to enjoy the city’s palaces and museums because independent sightseeing is impossible without a visa. I started with a four-hour walking tour, led by a witty and knowledgeable guide who was as happy to be quizzed about Salisbury as she was to rib Putin. One of many highlights was the Church on Spilled Blood with its onion domes reaching to the sky, still beautiful despite a major programme of renovations. Stockholm’s royal palaces are as good a starting point as any for understanding the city’s history but there is so much more. The Museum of Modern Art on the island of Skeppsholmen is worth a visit, its gardens home to colourful and zany sculptures. Although there is a shuttle bus service available, I found it as quick to take the riverside walk past the Film Museum and enter Stockholm via the warren of narrow streets in the Old Town. Of the other ports, Tallinn is compact and the easiest to explore on foot. My starting point was the 13th century cobblestoned main square where I enjoyed a coffee in warm sunshine. From there I walked up to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an orthodox and gloriously ornate cathedral funded by public donations. Kiel on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast was less impressive. It is twinned with Coventry but has not been as successful in rebuilding after the devastations of war. The Rathaus, or Town Hall, with its ornate interior survived the bombing but Kiel is one place where the best plan might be to book an excursion. THE SHIP Ask loyal Cunarders which is their favourite ship and the answer more often than not is Queen Victoria. I can see why. My cabin was spacious and the public areas luxuriously comfortable, with deep sofas and armchairs waiting to help relieve tired legs after busy days ashore. The dark wood veneers, deep pile carpets in golds and creams, and art deco marble tiling all recall a golden era for passenger ships. The elegant Queens Room on Deck 2 is a popular haunt, not only for afternoon cream teas served by waiters in white gloves but also because it is a ballroom where every evening there is dancing to live music. Cunard dance hosts offer to partner single guests and during the day there are classes led by a professional dance couple. Guests Jane and Robert from Harlow in Essex are keen dancers and the ship’s ballroom was one of the reasons they booked the cruise. “The setting is beautiful,” Jane told me. “We love dancing and enjoyed our times in the Queens Room – but more opportunities for sequence dancing would have been nice.” The handsome two-storey library is well-stocked and the two librarians impressed me with their courtesy and knowledge. At the Purser’s Desk, international receptionists like Lisa from Berlin, Martin from Vienna and Charles from Cambridge were fine ambassadors for Cunard, cheerfully responding to my questions and often providing me with additional maps before going ashore. I cannot think of any area where service was less than excellent. On deck and in the bars, stewards were attentive however busy they were and in the Chart Room ($4.83 for an Illy cappuccino), waiters Julito, Martina and Rolando made every visit special thanks to their professionalism. It was the same in the Britannia Restaurant with waiters Gede and KC delivering faultless service at our table, and Cyril offering expert wine advice. The House wines were good although $14 for a glass of red made my eyes water! The galleys prepare around 5000 meals a day and standards are high. My beef sirloin and pork medallions were first rate, piping hot and full of flavour, and the fish was also excellent, whether the roasted monkfish or the grilled turbot. When I asked for chips, they were delivered immediately. For desserts, and knowing that coffee and chocolates or petit fours would follow, I generally restricted myself to the ice creams. Yes, there were disappointments but they were remedied quickly. My roast turkey one evening was lukewarm and Gede handled the matter without fuss, apologising and returning promptly with a hot replacement meal. There was a wide range of activities to choose from on sea days, from bridge and watercolour art classes to port presentations and talks from guest speakers, all of them well attended. Captain Tomás Connery was seen around the ship every day – always a good sign - and at midday updated us with navigational details. In the evenings, The Royal Court Theatre Company presented music and dance shows to packed houses and there were guest artists too. My favourites were Roy G Hemmings who spent ten years as a singer with The Drifters and Jon Courtenay, an energetic pianist comic. Perhaps because of the Baltic itinerary, there was an international dimension to the cruise. The majority of passengers were British but there were several other nationalities as well – mainly Australians, Americans, Germans, French and Dutch . . . and one South Korean. Does such a mixture have a major influence on menus? Not according to Jackie Bott, the ship’s Hotel General Manager (HGM). “People generally come to Cunard because it’s Cunard,” she told me. “Our international guests tell us that they don’t want to be served with their local dishes. They want to taste British food.” Nancy and John Keisman, guests from Brandon in Mississippi, took the same view. “We loved this cruise,” said John. “Not only for the ports with their different cultures but also for the opportunity to enjoy some great British food - Yorkshire pudding was new to us but we kinda liked it!” Nevertheless some of the food did reflect Continental tastes. The variety of bread and pastries served at breakfast in the Lido restaurant on Deck 9 is one example, with white, black, rye and brown breads, along with bagels and croissants, available each morning. WORTH BOOKING? The Baltic itinerary features throughout the Cunard 2019/2020 brochure and, although I have now done it twice, I would happily do it a third time because each port offers such a diverse range of history and culture. But the real star of this cruise was Queen Victoria and I can’t wait to return on board. HGM Jackie Bott unwittingly summed up the ship’s success when she told me what appealed most about her work in leading a department of 800 officers and crew. “Passengers think it must be the chance to see the world that is the best part of the job, but ports are secondary to people and in any case I’ve visited most ports more than once. People are far more interesting and complex and they are central to everything we do at Cunard.” No surprise, then, that Queen Victoria delivered such a successful cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making ... Read More
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making our cabin home for the next 2 weeks. We had lunch in the Lido (self service restaurant), I had pork escalopes and salad vegetables - lovely. The Emergency life jacket and muster drill at 4pm was uneventful and hopefully will never need this equipment. Walked around deck and went to the sailaway party on the bow deck 9 around the Lido pool. Queen Mary 2 was in dock embarking passengers and both ships blew horns in respect to each other. Food - we eat in the Lido buffet restaurant, we can take our time eating with plenty of choice for breakfast (cold cuts of meat, fish, cooked breakfast items and cereals), lunch menu was varied and always good. Dinner ranged from roast meats, vegetables, cold meats and fish, salad vegetables, various soups especially New England clam chowder and roasted pepper and tomato - superb. Some evenings the food was presented from different countries e.g. Germany, India, China, America and celebratory e.g. turkey. The Italian cooking area (manned by a chef) was always busy and people seemed happy with the food being cooked live. The ship Queen Victoria is beautiful inside and out, and it is well cared for by the crew. My wife attended the water colour art class, including the live painting demonstration by Lynn Rodgie sponsored by the on board art gallery. We saw a live unveiling of a new picture by Lynn, unveiled jointly by Lynn and the Captain in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery. I attended the lectures in the Royal Court theatre - including lectures on NASA, Princess Diana, Carl Faberge (useful as he lived in St Petersburg one of our cruise ports), various cruise ports and various artist lectures e.g. L S Lowery and Sherree Valentine -Daines. I used the gym on aft deck 9 - dumbells, benches, weights machines and aerobic machines, fine for keeping fit. The weather - late April to mid May, sun shine, wind, rain at sea but not on the excursions, and cold. Snow overnight early hours of saturday 4 May 2019 sailing from Copenhagen to Stockholm. People wore fleeces, padded jackets and goretex outer layers. We had a terrorist alert for Stockholm requesting that nobody bring packages from unknown people on board. Security whilst embarking in Stockholm was tighter. We would visit the Baltic again on a cruise but maybe not for a few years as we want to see different areas of the World. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no ... Read More
This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no illusions with six sea days before the first port of call we would need to find plenty to do. Also, the North Atlantic in January could have been very rough (think North Sea trawler!), we were very fortunate and had a remarkably smooth ride. We had booked a Princess Grills mini-suite which was mid-ships and deck six. Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the City Terminal in Southampton. We had priority boarding and so did a lot of others, from arriving at the terminal to getting to the cabin took 45 mins. Check in took a bit longer as they had to confirm that we had valid US visas (ESTA). Disembarkation was more complicated because our flight was not until 18:00. A coach tour of Miami had been organised for those transferring to Miami airport. A couple of days before disembarking instructions and luggage tags were dropped off in our cabin. We had to be in the Royal Court Theatre for 07:45, no leisurely breakfast then. Once called, we were quickly off the ship and had collected our luggage; this was then put onto the coach. There was some confusion because some of the passengers on the coach had flights that were too early for the tour; they had to be taken off the coach. We had a comprehensive tour of Miami, with a detailed description from our knowledgeable guide Linda. There was time for some lunch in Miami Beach and a walk on Ocean Drive. We finally reached the airport for 13:30; this might have seemed early for an 18:00 flight, but with the queues at check in, immigration and security, the time soon passed. Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet and Greet We did have a small M&G on the first sea, a nice chat with quite a varied bunch. Dining As we were Princess Grill passengers we ate in the Princess Grill, and could have eaten there for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. We had an allocated table for two (103) which was ours for the whole cruise. Our waiters Tusha and Tutu (spelling guess) could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. Meals are served at a leisurely pace, but when we turned up early one evening, they asked if we were going to the show and provided ‘express’ service, in and out in an hour! Every morning the lunch and dinner menus are delivered to your cabin, giving you plenty of time to consider your choices. If there was nothing on the dinner menu that you fancied, there was also a good selection of a la carte choices, though some did need to be ordered in advance. Memorable meals included Dover sole cooked at our table, the mixed grill, beef Wellington, Tornados Rossini and last but not least the chilli dog for lunch! A particular highlight was the wines that our sommelier Sheila, always managing to find interesting wines by the glass, that were below the $11 drinks package threshold, that matched our food choices, her service was prompt, efficient and very friendly. Although the food in the Princess Grill was amazing we did occasionally try other venues for breakfast and lunch. The Lido buffet for breakfast when we had early starts was better that many buffets that we have tried, at peak times it could be very crowded and difficult to find a table. Choices of food were very wide. The Lido Grill provided great hotdogs and burgers. We had fish and chips in the Golden Lion pub one day, this was very good, and served quickly. Bars We had decided to purchase the Beers, Wines and Spirits Option drinks package; this costs $69 per day per person. It worked for us, I don’t know whether we made or lost on it, effectively we saved the 15% service charge which is applied to all purchased drinks. There is a comprehensive set of terms and conditions that fill a sheet of A4 paper. Our favourite bar was the Grills Lounge where Patrick was the consummate host, nothing was too much trouble. The standard of nibbles served with drinks before dinner was very high, the crisps particularly, we were also offered hot canapes. Other favourites included the Commodore Club with its stunning forward view, and after dinner the Chart Room provided somewhere quiet and intimate. Prelunch drinks were either in the Golden Lion, which had a good selection of beers, or the Winter Garden, which could be quite crowded. Most of the time service was prompt, efficient and courteous. Most bars also served tea and coffee. Cabin Our cabin was starboard midships on deck 6 (6103), it was a very good size; it is described as a Princess Grill Mini-Suite. The décor and fittings were in good shape. Between the bathroom and main room is a spacious hanging area that really works well. The beds are high enough to take some pretty big suitcases underneath. There were also two deep drawers under the foot of the bed. There is a spacious sitting area with a sofa, chair and coffee table. The balcony does have an overhang and is quite sheltered, but it is a good size. Our steward Jaypee looked after us well, and was always keen to do more. This grade of cabin comes with fluffy bathrobes, and on embarkation Champagne. This cabin was very quiet, nothing rattled. The bathroom had an over-bath shower and lots of storage. Along with a kettle there was also a coffee maker. Large bottles of water are provided complimentary. The only slight downside was that the hairdryer was not very good and really needed upgrading. Entertainment I enjoyed the lectures in the Royal Court Theatre by Professor Bob Donaldson ‘Global Threats in the 21st Century’ might sound a bit on the heavy side, he presented an interesting perspective on international relations. We both enjoyed talks by retired cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. We also went to evening shows with Phillip Browne, Roy Walker and juggling comedian Goronwy Thorn. These were hosts by Entertainment Director Neil Kelly. It was very pleasing not to have to get to the theatre 30 mins before a show started, there were always seats available. Photography We were pleasantly surprised by the ship’s photographers and their low key approach, only taking your picture when asked. We did have a picture with the captain, but it was not good enough for the $30 price tag. Gym A very good gym with everything you could want, some of the machines looked to be new. As usual it could become congested at peak times. My only suggestion would be to add a sit-up bench. Shops Lots of shops to choose from, but not everything had a price tag which was a bit off putting. Ports of Call Bermuda, after six days at sea we were very glad to stretch our legs on land. We stayed around the Royal Naval Dockyard, taking in the Clocktower Shopping Mall, the Dockyard Glassworks and the Frog and Onion Pub. Bermuda is not a cheap place, $7 for half a pint of local lager. Port Canaveral, Florida We originally booked on the Kennedy Space Centre Up Close Tour, but this was downgraded to the standard tour because of the US Government shut down. It was a long day and started with negotiating US Boarder Control formalities. The Space Centre sent buses to the port to collect us (I think there were 10 busses in all). We had a very knowledgeable guide in Julie, who also kept very good control of the group. Julie warned us that the Space Centre had become very ‘Disneyish’, with stirring music blasting out, rather than a history lesson more an experience. The tour lasted from pick up at 08:30 to back on board 16:45, not for the faint hearted it’s a long day and hard on the feet, but I thought it was well worthwhile and enjoyable. Top tip, if you purchase anything in the Space Centre retail outlets; ask for the cruise passenger 10% discount. Anything Else? We were under no illusions that there were a lot of sea days on this trip, but Cunard offered plenty to keep us occupied. The level of service on the ship exceeded our expectations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Xmas and new year cruise to the canaries From embarkation to disembarkation it was everything we expected Arrived at the port 10.15 checked in and on by ten fifty five Balcony Cabin 4042 near stairway A no issues quiet location ... Read More
Xmas and new year cruise to the canaries From embarkation to disembarkation it was everything we expected Arrived at the port 10.15 checked in and on by ten fifty five Balcony Cabin 4042 near stairway A no issues quiet location the balcony had a solid front which didn’t cause any issues A very calm transit through the Bay of Biscay Food and waiters in Brittania we’re excellent best we have had (Alex and Jeffrey) New Year’s Eve was spectacular We enjoyed all the ports, disappointing that we didn’t get into Madeira, this was due to the weather, it was not safe for the tenders, very scary watching other tenders going into port Would highly recommend a very good cruise The only negative I have is the high costs of the drinks and the cost of spa treatments, if only they reduced the prices t am sure more people would indulge Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and it has always been a favourite of ours and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful suite with a full sized Christmas tree as an added bonus. The Butler and his assistant were fantastic and ... Read More
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and it has always been a favourite of ours and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful suite with a full sized Christmas tree as an added bonus. The Butler and his assistant were fantastic and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. Our suite was always kept pristine and we never lacked for anything. We travelled with our adult daughter so we wanted a second bedroom and bathroom and the suite provided both (although it could be too big for just two people, it all depends on what you are looking for). The Head Maître’ D and Head Waiter in the Queens Grill restaurant were brilliant (as usual) as were the rest of the staff. My daughter has food allergies and they could not do enough to ensure she had a great gastronomic experience. The ship is superbly appointed throughout and the crew in general are very friendly and courteous (just remember to return the friendliness and courtesy to them). We have always enjoyed the Enrichment Program and always proves to be very enlighting. The entertaiment on the ship we have always found to be very average with the occassional highlight. However we were disappointed that they did not have the fencing on this cruise. The ports and shore excursions were good but not brilliant but we knew this before the cruise so they met our expectations. If I have a criticism of the crew, it is with the officers of the ship that seem to refuse to engage with the guests and can be very stand offish. Cunard is the only cruise line that I have experienced this with. Just a point of note, the ship can be quite formal at times so if you like a laid back type of cruise you should do your research before embarking on a Cunard cruise. For us, we would like less formality but it is worth putting up with just so as we can experience the White Star service. We have already booked a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for January 2020 and we are looking forward to sailing with Cunard again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably ... Read More
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably the best to date. We were also glad to see that Cunard were maintaining the dress code, I did not see anyone who was not dressed to the correct standard. The dress standard is what Canard is all about. The dining staff were extremely attentive and were very keen to try and please. The ship was decorated beautifully in readiness for Christmas, we even had a small Christmas tree in the room. Our Stateroom was very comfortable, the Cunard staff could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. The enrichment activities were wonderful, in particular the NASA talks by Jim Kennedy. Overall the evening entertainment was to a high standard in particular the Cunard show called Hollywood nights, especially the new introduction of the "Greatest showman" which we thought was stunning. Most of the evenings involved late night drinks in the Commodore club listening to a pianist/singer. Overall a fantastic cruise Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We just arrived back home after sailing for 10 nights around the Canary Islands and Madiera. We originally were booked in a Queens Grill Q5 Cabin, but we received an offer from Cunard of purchasing an upgrade to Q1, which we chose to take ... Read More
We just arrived back home after sailing for 10 nights around the Canary Islands and Madiera. We originally were booked in a Queens Grill Q5 Cabin, but we received an offer from Cunard of purchasing an upgrade to Q1, which we chose to take up. For us it was very exciting to be sailing on the QV but to be sailing in a Q1 (The Aquataine Suite) was beyond exciting. We arrived at check in and everything went smoothly. We were on the ship very quickly and we were met at the entrance by our Butler who personally showed us to our suite. The Suite itself is amazing, absolutely huge and well fitted out. A bottle of Lauren Perrier Rose Champagne was on ice for us along with strawberries dipped in chocolate. Our Butler and Steward were both excellent and catered for all our needs. We missed our first lunch in the QG Restaruant as we were late arriving at the ship so we were both very much looking forward to dinner. When we originally booked our Q5 suite, 14 months ago, we booked it on board the QE and we specifically requested a window seat in the restaurant. However once we upgraded we felt that we would automatically be given a very good table. Much to our dismay on arriving in the restaurant we were placed on a table which was quite small and abutted a wooden pillar! Consequently my hb rather than being able to look out towards the sea view looked face on to the pillar.The table was also placed at an odd angle so my hb was also sticking out into the pathway of the waiters. Of course my hb spoke to the Maitre 'D who said he would try and move us. Ironically we found out later that the new couple who were in the Q5 suite we had previously booked, were on a larger table situated in the middle of the huge window! Anyway by the end of dinner the Maitre'D had been able to find us a new table which was as we originally hoped, with full window views. Our first night had therefore been tainted a little with this incident, but we didn't let it ruin which was so far a lovely time. However the first night in our suite was terrible! The sea was a little rough and consequently the ship was rolling a little, but this in itself didn't bother us as we have cruised many times. What was bad was that everything in the suite was rattling, creaking, banging...I felt that the whole room was going to break off and fall into the sea! Not what I expected at all. It was so noisy that both I and my hb just couldn't sleep. We informed the Butler the next morning but all he could offer was a door wedge for the worse offender! Obviously I believe this is a design fault in some way. There is a sliding door between the clothes hanging area and the doors to the toilets which just did not work, consequently it had been wedged open with a door stop. The Butler said he had informed maintenance as it had been like that for some time but nothing had been done so far. The rest of the journey continued to cause similar noises and bangs, depending on the severity of the sea. The engine noise was also very noticeable but we were expecting that being at the back of the ship. Our first morning we asked the Butler for our Ipad, which we had been told on our arrival would be brought each day and our choice of newspapers would be downloaded for our convenience. IT would then be removed in the evening in order for it to be updated. Unfortunately the Ipad never arrived, we asked the Butler twice, the concierge about 3 times but it never did arrive throughout the whole trip! The last disappointment was the width of our very long wrap around balcony. It was only approx 5 .5 foot wide and therefore the only way to stretch out in the (very little) sun was length ways, and the only way to look out to sea was by sitting upright on a chair. When we had been in a Q5 last year the balcony was much wider. It's a pity because I think they have unnecessarily sacrificed balcony space in favour of more room space even thought the rooms are already huge! Overall we had a fabulous trip but there were some downsides to this suite as I have pointed out. Would I go on QV again, yes without a doubt - would I choose this suite again....close call!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
It was afternoon tea in the elegant Queen’s Room that proved my undoing. As white-gloved waiters poured me my cup of piping hot tea and tempted me with scones and cream, I knew I had found my spiritual home. I was in heaven. And 12 days ... Read More
It was afternoon tea in the elegant Queen’s Room that proved my undoing. As white-gloved waiters poured me my cup of piping hot tea and tempted me with scones and cream, I knew I had found my spiritual home. I was in heaven. And 12 days later I was six pounds heavier. ACCOMMODATION My cabin was on Deck 2, nicely placed for the theatre, the Britannia restaurant and the all-important Queen’s Room. It was also handy for the library and just one deck above the Purser’s Desk, meaning that on port days it was a short walk to the gangway. On the other hand, on warm sunny days (and we had many) the cabin was some distance from the outside decks on 9 and 10, particularly if you avoid lifts and climb the stairs as I do in a bid to fight the flab. (And look what good it did me!) The room itself was bright and clean with lots of wardrobe space and a generous helping of drawers. It also had Noe, a friendly and efficient steward who did a wonderful job and was on hand to respond to special requests. Champagne flutes to share a bottle with friends? They were in my fridge within the hour. THE PORTS Cruising the coastline of Spain and Portugal in November can be risky in terms of the weather. Biscay was choppy and La Coruna, our first port, was cold and wet as we came alongside. From then on, however, it was sunshine all the way. Cadiz is a favourite of mine with the old town an easy stroll from the terminal. For those who like history the warren of narrow streets is delightful with many opening into sunny squares lined with shops and cafés (about €1,60 for a coffee). The Plaza de la Catedral is the grandest of them all and it is where you will find both the cathedral and the baroque Santiago church. Behind the cathedral is the seafront and promenade, a great place for people-watching. Malaga is impressive too and the shuttle buses take guests as far as the port gates, across the road from the cathedral - once an imposing fortress as well as a place of worship - and the Picasso Museum. For those with the energy, there are seafront walks and the shopping arcade with its sweep of Christmas decorations proved popular. I enjoy buying things in Spain. Where in the UK would you find tiny shops selling only penknives and scissors, or gloves and scarves, trading next to multinational stores? Cartagena is quiet by comparison. The pedestrianised shopping area is busy from midday onwards but explore the back streets and you will find the locals going about their business in near-deserted streets. Also only five minutes’ walk away is the amphitheatre that is being excavated and remodelled with the help of EU funding. Whenever I explore Lisbon’s back streets busy with traditional trams rattling by, it is easy to imagine the atmosphere of suspicion and fear that must have pervaded the city during WW2 when it offered a gateway to freedom for escaping PoWs. As with every port, Cunard offers a range of tours but perhaps Lisbon is one place where just a tram ride is enough to experience the city’s history and magnificent public buildings. But make time to pause at a café to enjoy a Pastel da Nata, Portugal’s delicious flaky pastry custard tart. THE FOOD For me, food is central to the success of a cruise holiday and executive chef Chitra Kunwar deserves five stars for delivering such high standards of cuisine every day. I dined on first sitting and enjoyed beef of real quality. Whether sirloin, fillet medallions or tenderloin, the meat was always tender and served exactly as requested. The fish was equally good, my favourite being the lemon sole goujons – translucent, moist and hot. Of the desserts, the brûlées and crumbles went down well on my table and extra scoops of ice cream added to the enjoyment. Our waiter, Reggie, was a true professional. Quietly courteous and good-humoured, we soon learned to respect his recommendations. In the Lido, the serveries were kept well stocked and the range of food on offer was impressive including, one lunchtime, the choice of generous helpings of lobster claws. With quite a few German passengers on board, there was an even wider choice and at breakfast I made the most of the opportunity to try some of the Continental breads and pastries. For the best coffee on board, my prize goes to the Chart Room on Deck 2 with its comfy armchairs and sofas. Here you can enjoy an Illy flat white for just under $5, including service, and during the morning there are also doughnuts and muffins available at no charge. From midday if you want to miss out on a more substantial lunch, the Chart Room offers light bites, my favourite being the seafood platter. ACTIVITIES There is an almost bewildering array of activities organised for passengers and my advice to those who haven’t cruised before is to study the Daily Programme, delivered to staterooms each evening, and plan your priorities for the day ahead. The shows in the Royal Court Theatre are always popular (two each evening) and during the day the theatre is the venue for guest speakers. On port days the theatre becomes an afternoon cinema. Of all the films, the biggest audiences were for ‘Mama Mia! Here We Go Again’ and ‘Darkest hour’. Not that I was there; I prefer theatre. The tribute band ‘Walk Like A Man’ reprised songs of The Four Seasons and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Each sea day art classes were held in a corner of the Britannia restaurant and both daily sessions were well attended. No wonder, because the art teacher on this cruise was Chris Tatam from North Wales and he did a wonderful job guiding and encouraging us to explore new techniques. His enthusiasm for art in all its forms as much as for teaching made the art classes unmissable. An added bonus is that Cunard sells packs of materials for $35 – palette, brushes, paints, pads of quality art paper – which I know from experience would cost almost double in UK shops. A bargain, so no excuse for not having a go! WORTH BOOKING? Definitely. Queen Victoria’s rich mahogany, polished brass and handsome art deco flourishes to be found at every turn create a stunning environment, but even more memorable is the commitment and hard work of the ship’s company. Whether it was James Cusick, the Hotel General Manager who oversees the work of several hundred officers and crew, making time to pause for a chat, or the cheerfulness of junior housekeeping assistants as they dusted and polished, everyone I met impressed me with their determination to make this cruise a success. No surprise, then, that I decided to book another before disembarking. But next time, fewer scones! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have cruised before on the Queen Mary 2 and it was wonderful. Friends told us the Queen Victoria was better and that is true. There are 2,040 passengers but the ship is so big that you have no feeling of being crowded. The dining ... Read More
We have cruised before on the Queen Mary 2 and it was wonderful. Friends told us the Queen Victoria was better and that is true. There are 2,040 passengers but the ship is so big that you have no feeling of being crowded. The dining experience is superb, both in the main dining room and up in the buffet. Oceania claim they have the best cuisine of any ship at sea but the Queen Victoria is better and it is much cheaper. The entertainment was incredible. A truly magnificent 1,000 seat theatre of red velvet sets. One night, the three brilliant singers had 1,000, 60, 70 and 80 year olds all standing, swaying and clapping in time to the singing. A truly wonderful experience. We sailed from Rome after spending 2 nights in a hotel in Rome. Visited Barcelona, Ajaccio, Monte Carlo, Livorno Italy, back to Civitavechia, Corfu, Kotor in Montenegro, Dubrovnik and then onto Venice for one night stay in a hotel before flying home. We came into both Corfu and Venice at sunrise and I have the most outstanding photographs of sunrises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the port itinerary. We are not that keen on sea days , nor on being on organised ship excursions so it is important to us to have a great list of ports to visit and to be able to do these ports easily on our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the port itinerary. We are not that keen on sea days , nor on being on organised ship excursions so it is important to us to have a great list of ports to visit and to be able to do these ports easily on our own. This cruise was perfect for us with 10 ports to visit and 4 sea days. Embarkation was swift from Civitivecchia. We had spent 2 nights beforehand in Rome and caught the train to the port. Nothing to do with Cunard but the station at Civitivecchia is appalling for travellers with luggage . Poor, seeing as it is one the the major European cruiseports. Our balcony cabin on Deck 7 was superb, we couldn't fault it and it was beautifully maintained by our cabin steward, Marvin. Plentiful supplies of toiletries throughout our stay. The ship is very elegant and yes caters for a slightly older clientele, but there was a good mix of ages and for those of us young grandparents on board , which is what you would expect on an October cruise it was lovely to have mainly adults who behaved very well and not snobbish at all. We enjoyed dressing up for the Gala evenings , nicer than on Celebrity with evening chic, but have to admit that the jacket requirement for men every evening on a Med cruise should perhaps be reconsidered but that is Cunard and we knew what we were letting ourselves in for . It is easy to go casual at all times by eating in the Lido Buffet if so desired. We found the food in the Buffet where we ate Breakfast and Lunch to be excellent, much better than anticipated after reading the reviews and there was always a lovely atmosphere. We ate for 10 of the 14 nights in the Britannia Restaurant. We enjoyed the dining experience very much and our waiters , Miguel, assisted by Danber were great. However the food quality we felt was better in the Buffet. This was confirmed by many of the people we spoke to. We used breakfast Room Service on quite a few occasions on Port days and it was great. Cunards drinks prices are high. 35 dollars for wine but they do allow you to bring wine on board from ports for cabin consumption and soft drinks and water are freely available in the Buffet. Our main gripe on Restaurant Dining was that we didn't like the fixed time slot of 8.30 but 6 was way too early . Previously on other cruises, we had anytime dining and this we much preferred. Because of the high drinks prices and no drinks packages, the bars seemed very quiet compared to our previous cruises on Celebrity. The 4 shows we saw , we enjoyed. I used the gym and tried my hand or feet at Line Dancing. We preferred the Balcony to sitting on Deck but often wandered round the Decks and there always seemed to be lots of chairs available. The ship was kept spotless. The port shuttles were always waiting and the tender boats in Villefranche and Piran were managed very efficiently as was the launch in Venice. The weather was very kind to us. We had a great cruise and providing there is another great port itinerary we would have no hesitation in recommending or going back to the Queen Victoria . Disembarkation in Venice was easy and efficient and overnight in Venice on board ship was a real bonus. So privileged to have seen Venice by night. All in all a wonderful trip Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a celebratory trip for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We did a portion of our honeymoon on Queen Victoria, and loved it. Stateroom: We were in 5089 Princess Grill. The room was just large enough and comfortable for two of ... Read More
This was a celebratory trip for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We did a portion of our honeymoon on Queen Victoria, and loved it. Stateroom: We were in 5089 Princess Grill. The room was just large enough and comfortable for two of us. The closet was spacious, but a tad dark on the floor. Found our shoes always messy. Wish we could have found a better way to store about 12 pairs. The bed and linens were very comfortable. I like having a normal bed with normal corners, unlike some other ships that like to round off the bed edge, which makes it feel smaller. It was nice having two TVs, refrigerator, hot water kettle and Illy coffee maker with pods. The balcony was comfortable with two loungers and stool. Lovely having a tub rather than some sort of space age shower tube, but prefer not having a shower curtain. Grills: We loved having a pre-dinner drink in the Grills Lounge, prior to our Princess Grill dinner. Wait staff in both were wonderful. Tashar, our waiter, and Daryl, his assistant were very nice. Our table for two was placed in a wonderful spot in the middle section, not against the wall nor against the window. We liked being able to see the dining room without feeling compressed, and loved being able to see the horizon nearly from one end to the other. Can't necessarily do this sitting right at the window. Our sommelier was quick, efficient and helpful, not too chatty but never ignored us. The food and menus were interesting. We really didn't have a bad meal or course. We do like having our soups and salads, and the Grills didn't let us down. I did ask for mash potatoes one night and Tashar obliged without a problem. Desserts were tasty too. Lido: We tried the Lido for breakfast the first morning on the ship. Horrible! I asked for an egg white and one egg yolk omelet and the cook seemed confused. He added the egg yolk when the omelet was nearly done, so it was similar to having an omelet with this random over medium egg piece mixed in. Bacon was WAY TOO SALTY! The hash brown potato triangles were good. The overall options were not that great. We ventured in one day for lunch and found options really disappointing, and chose room service. After that, we found breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner just perfect in the Princess Grill. Overall ship: I seem to recall the Cunardia was more extensive 10 years ago, so perhaps with the recent refit, they reduced all the memorabilia, which is so fascinating. We thoroughly enjoyed the Chart Room for morning coffees and a pastry treat. We did purchase a 7 day spa pass, which was very well worth it. Loved sitting in on the art lecture in the gallery; heard some interesting tidbits about various artists. Another favorite for us was an after dinner cigar smoke in Churchill's for my husband. We had a couple Grand Marniers too. We typically had the room to ourselves, which is very nicely appointed, but service a bit slow and unreliable; the waiter also doesn't really know how to cut a cigar tip. We never felt any crowding issues anywhere at any time on the ship. We enjoyed the Lion's Pub twice for lunch, the fish and chips were very crisp and tasty. Utilized the launderette a couple times without any issue. Any negatives? Not really. Just wish the wi-fi was free or were allocated some free minutes. I also wish the "alternative dining" was gratis, as it was 10 years ago. I know the chefs make wonderful Indian dishes, and since we were in the Princess Grill, it really didn't make sense for us to pay more for another dining option. While our waiter mentioned I could get something of Indian cuisine, but without a menu or options to read/see, it's hard for one to request this. The ship, which is very hard moving vessel to keep up, fighting people and sea salt wear and tear 24/7 is a task unto itself. The ship's condition was just fine, and things, surfaces, carpets all clean. We cannot complain about drinks either, as we had a drink package, albeit we may not have got our money's worth, but it was nice not having to worry about budget. We did not abuse, waste offerings or order things we really had no intention of drinking. We did bring three bottles of wine to dinner, and found the $20 corkage fee ($17 + 15% tip) reasonable. Misc: The Entertainment Director was extremely boring, hard to understand and not really interesting to watch on the ship's TV station. Where is Alistar?? We need him back! He was wonderful. He provided great tips about the ship, ports, fun details for the day and his show opening song was Bill Wither's "Lovely Day". How can you go wrong? Not to mention he was everywhere on the ship! The current ED looked like he partied way too hard the night before and his interviews of dancers and show people was so not interesting. And we never saw him anywhere on the ship. And honestly, no one cares to hear a reading of who's birthday it is today; put it in a graphic, don't read it. Poor production quality. Tours: We wish we had just another 30 to an hour in Taormina. What a lovely town! And this could be done, as we had to come back and not much to do in the port side portion of Messina. The Roma Train was a great comfortable way to transfer from CV to Roma, and it was a train all to ourselves. But suggest that the tour guides coordinate a better way from the bus to the station, as we were walking through some back alley, ghetto parking lot areas. Our tour on Korcula was cancelled due to inclement weather. anticipated in the early afternoon I give kudos to the Captain, as he still made the Korcula stop for a few hours, with a high noon departure, but could have easily said no and bypassed it altogether. It was nice to walk around the quaint little town. Dress code: This was one part that always trips folks up, but in the end, everyone looked nice, dressed as best as they could and no one that we saw bucked the system and looked to stand out for negative reasons. Cunard, please don't change this standard. We are looking to repeat another Cunard adventure, and not wait 10 years to do so. Our Grills experience spoiled us, but did offer some nice luxuries that we want to repeat again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Departed 15 September 2018 - 15 nights. We chose this cruise because of it's excellent itinerary and longer stays in ports. Overnight in Venice was the icing on the cake. We were a little perturbed by some of the reviews and ... Read More
Departed 15 September 2018 - 15 nights. We chose this cruise because of it's excellent itinerary and longer stays in ports. Overnight in Venice was the icing on the cake. We were a little perturbed by some of the reviews and comments that life on Queen Victoria was 'boring' and the ship was 'full of old people'. My husband didn't want to go as he thought he'd be bored. The reality was that our cruise to be fairly even in age, although not many children. Embarkation was seamless - even though we turned up 2 hours before our allocated time. We were unpacked and ready to go long before we cast off. From the time we boarded, we realised that British punctuality reined supreme on the Queen - everything was perfectly on time, and no stragglers thank you. From the Captain down to the cabin staff, there was always a friendlWe were allocated first sitting in the Brittania Restuarant - fine for sea days but not so good when in port and the ship sails late afternoon. No time to dress for dinner, so we ate mostly in the Lido Buffet. The meals in both the Britannia and the Lido Buffet were excellent - especially the pasta chef in the Lido who made sauces to taste. Delicious. If portion control is important to you, better stick to the Britannia as it's very easy to go overboard at buffets. We ate breakfast in the Lido every day as most days we had early starts while in ports. I loved the fresh fruit and healthy options available. My only adverse comment is about the behavior of some of the older male passengers at the coffee/juice machines on the Lido. You'd swear it was the last supper as they pushed and jostled others out of the way. Other than that - dining gets a big tick. Our cabin was 4001 - right at the front of the ship and with a metal balcony. Any further forward and you'd be over the bow! I was disappointed at first, but the photo opportunities as you sail into ports like Kotor are exceptionally good. The cabin was a good size, plenty of room under the bed to stow luggage, plenty of wardrobe space and excellent shampoo, conditioner etc. The bed was extremely comfortable, as were the gorgeous pillows and bedding. The sound of the anchor being dropped was an excellent early morning wakup call in ports. You couldn't sleep through it! The only complaint I had was the horrible hair dryer in the drawer. You had to hold the button on to make it work and it took ages to dry my short hair. A small issue though - another tick for the cabin. The entertainment was varied and first class - we loved it! There was lots of ballroom dancing and we even took a couple of classes. We were terrible but at least we had a go. It was wonderful watching those who could dance and now dancing classes are on our bucket list. The formal nights were wonderful for we Aussies who rarely dress up. My husband took a tux, vests, bow ties and loved dressing up. We particularly loved the Captains Cocktail Party and the Masquerade Ball. I wore long dresses for the first time in the 18 years that we'd been married (not a good look for someone as short as me). For the ladies, trousers with evening tops are perfectly acceptable if you don't suit dresses (I don't and I'll never wear another one). I think Cunard recognises that it's demographic is changing and that we aging Baby Boomers who grew up on the Rolling Stones and Beatles aren't always ballroom dancers. We had a reggae band and a very good DJ on board. There was a good disco on Deck 10 next to the Commodores Lounge - complete with flashing lights and ABBA music. Very popular! The Golden Lion pub provided my darts-mad husband with something to do at sea - he even won two matches. The trivia and Bingo were fun. Laura with her quirky, Northern UK voice made me smile every time I heard her speak. She's a lot of fun and so were the other two girls. The ports were the major selling point of the cruise for us - first stop Corfu, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Venice overnight, Korcula, Valetta, Messina, Naples and back to Rome. Plenty of time in port except for Korcula where we had to leave early because of a pending storm. We thought the captain was panicking until it hit. Very interesting crossing to Malta and from Malta to Messina. We didn't take any of the Cunard port tours - our experience is always to choose a local tour company and do our own thing. It's worked before and worked perfectly this time (with the exception of Naples - choose a ship day tour in case you're running late). The service on Cunard was exceptional - nothing was too much trouble. Even when my cabin card kept demagnetising (mobile phone was to blame), they replaced it with a smile. Disembarkment was a bit of a problem - we were given a time to disembark, only to be told to go 2 hours early and 3 hours before our transfer was booked. There are no seats to sit on outside the Civitavecchia terminal so it was a long wait standing up. For those passengers not used to leaving large tips at the end of the voyage, or who prefer to leave tips for those special staff members, there is a system at the pursers office where you can opt out. The tips were in US dollars - and our exchange rate at the time of sailing was terrible - we preferred to tip in the Euros that we had at hand rather than charging our credit cards and awful exchange rates. Cunard provide envelopes so that you can leave tips yourself. My biggest bugbear were the deck chair hogs around the pool. I'd see people go out, use large colourful plastic pegs to secure their towels to the chairs, walk away and not come back for hours - sometimes well into the afternoon. This meant deck chairs were rarely available and hardly ever two next to each other. I think there should be a system if the chair hasn't been used for over 3 hours, the towel should be removed. My final comments: We'd sail with Cunard again in a heartbeat. The service, the ship's facilities and the ports have changed the way we look at cruising. I'm hooked and can't wait to sail with Cunard again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have sailed only with RCI before. We have been getting more and more disappointed with RCI standards and thought we would try Cunard. Being 51 years old, we were a little concerned that Cunard would be too formal and 'sedate' ... Read More
We have sailed only with RCI before. We have been getting more and more disappointed with RCI standards and thought we would try Cunard. Being 51 years old, we were a little concerned that Cunard would be too formal and 'sedate' for us. We needn't have worried. We found the whole Cunard experience brilliant, and it put RCI to shame with the level of care and detail Cunard put in to ensure your cruise is as worry-free as possible. Our cabin was spacious and very clean. We were well looked after by the steward, and, unlike RCI he wasn't constantly knocking on the door. The balcony was big as well (I think you get a bit of extra room on deck 4 as our balcony stuck out further than the ones above. Beware though that some of the balconies on deck 4 (those towards the bow) have metal fronts, not glass like ours). The ship is very well laid out and easy to get around. We found the food to be superb, both at the Lido and also thee main restaurant. In the Lido, there is a good choice and the quality is excellent. In the main restaurant there is a different choice every night. RCI always seem to have many of the same starters and desserts, whereas with Cunard each night is different, which we liked. We really liked the stricter dress code on board. Every non-formal night a jacket was required, but ties were optional. We thought this was a really good policy as everyone looked so smart each night. On the formal nights i don't think i saw anyone without a dinner suit or lounge suit - so good after enduring 'formal' nights on RCI recently. I must also comment on the general friendliness of the ship. We spoke to so many people over the course of the cruise. At the end of our stay we also found it a nice touch that suitcases were taken to the airport and we collected them from the check-in desk. We will definitely look to cruise with Cunard again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It has to be said, we were apprehensive about the way Cunard is expressed as being for the upper class, the snobs and the like. well there are a few on board, but the vast majority were like you and me, worried hard for what we have and ... Read More
It has to be said, we were apprehensive about the way Cunard is expressed as being for the upper class, the snobs and the like. well there are a few on board, but the vast majority were like you and me, worried hard for what we have and want to enjoy the fruits, as we grow older and being aware.... there are no pockets in a shroud and no safe in the coffin. The ease on which you board the ship in Southampton, is foremost. 20 minute's... your on and sorted. The first impression's are of it being dark and old fashioned, but believe me, this will soon grow on you. it is comfortable, cosy, in splendid art deco style and this ship has style by the bucket. The staff from the first step on board, are very, extremely curious. From the very first ,moment, everyone says hello, and it is not felt to be false. The rooms are small, same as all cruise ships, but these ships are Liners, not cruise. they cut through he water, the hull being designed to cut water, Blue Water! not sheltered sea's. Those who boat on the water will know. A small sailing craft will cut through the water, a small cruiser will need so much more power to make the same speed and efficient passage, therefore far more fuel efficient. I did not like the smoke she emitted at sea, but the fuel was visibly changed when near port. Back to the room's.... A much larger than average bed, memory foam and comfortable. The bed cover, in their coat of arms gives the right appeal and class of the company. It is not cheap and tacky, but refined and clearly announcing it is a Queen amongst ships. The bed pillows are pure class and comfortable, the welcoming half bottle of Champagne, a nice way to ease you into the Cunard scene and way of looking after you in style. Yes I liked it, but boy, how it grows on you! dining. Self service or waiter, from the first level into their dinning, at Red card ( first time clients) the Lido self serve experience is less fussy as to how you are dressed, and the food is (and i do not say this lightly) Excellent with a capital 'E'! No matter how fussy an eater you are, there is something to set you an happy dinning experience! On the ONLY REAL NEGATIVE! There is no drinks package! Wine packages, yes, but no all round package! Cunard could do worse than see how this basic to mid range package is run so successively as to try it on an MSC ship! It makes the cruise, and the ship money, but mostly, it en-hances the dinning and social experience. There is one other small negative, we found, but many commented on, throughout the ship at Lunch and Dinner. Broken by two good acts from off-board acts, the ships singers , can't sing! that may be cruel, but the one young lady had a terrific voice at and on certain songs, but screamed on others! ear peircingly. The standard was not good enough for such a ship, though it has to be said the shows were energetic, if poorly performed. but with Jugglers and a decent comic, plus a really good humorous classic 4 piece string quartet, were excellent and a joy to watch! Again Cunard should take an MSC cruise and see how to enthral their passengers, 9at least, that is our experience on 5 cruises and one other is booked for Cir-du Solie in early 2019. But! it has to be said, we will return time and again to Cunard. Once experienced, all others fall into the lower experience levels of excellence. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a one way fly cruise, 10 nights Southampton to Barcelona. I booked a one way car hire to Southampton, cruise only with Cunard and booked hotel and then flights back to Cardiff. It all worked really well and I would happily do ... Read More
This was a one way fly cruise, 10 nights Southampton to Barcelona. I booked a one way car hire to Southampton, cruise only with Cunard and booked hotel and then flights back to Cardiff. It all worked really well and I would happily do something similar if Cunard reintroduce fly cruises in the future. I booked an extra suitcase on the flight (approx £30) so there was no issue with luggage. Embarkation/Disembarkation Very easy on both occasions, we were a bit early for our 12.30 boarding time and were on board and eating lunch in the Golden Lion by then. We disembarked in Barcelona at 9 am. Food/Dining We had a shared table of 6 on second sitting. Food service was great but our Sommelier was very busy. We got into the habit of ordering wine at lunchtime or the previous evening to make it sure it arrived in time for the food. We found something good on most menus, often more than one. I was a bit worried when I read comments about new menus but overall it was an improvement. We never ordered more than one soup/starter/salad but we never have so that wasn't a problem. We had starters as main courses a couple of times. We enjoyed the light bites at lunchtime in the Chart Room and room service breakfast, the time slots are now 30 minutes which isn't great if you have an early. We made it to the Britannia restaurant for breakfast and lunch on a couple of occasions, always had a table for 2. Entertainment Never a priority for us but we enjoyed a couple of the guests performers, particularly the Comedy String Quartet, it doesn't sound very promising but it was very funny. It was good to see The Royal Court theatre orchestra and Caribbean band Changez playing in the Golden Lion. One of our favourite evenings was the deck party. Cabin We had a metal fronted balcony forward on Deck 4. The cabin itself was fine but there was some noise from the crew pantry opposite. Itinerary We only took one ship's excursion, the others were easy to diy. Santa Margherita was probably the highlight for us. Summary Another great cruise on Cunard. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Although I have travelled with many different cruise lines, I had never cruised with Cunard and my partner had never cruised before. We sailed from Southampton, the embarkation very smooth. Our balcony cabin on deck 5 greeted us with ... Read More
Although I have travelled with many different cruise lines, I had never cruised with Cunard and my partner had never cruised before. We sailed from Southampton, the embarkation very smooth. Our balcony cabin on deck 5 greeted us with a complmentary bottle of bubbly which we drank sailing out of the harbour. The cabin was a good size with reasonable sized bathroom. The toiletries were replaced daily. Great cabin, beautfully presented and tasting food with superb service from all staff. One day we had breakfast delivered to the cabin and we ate on the balcony as the sun rose. The entertainment was first class and the enrichment lectures very informative and entertaining. We used the gym daily and my partner had a treatment from the sports therapist which was very beneficial. We used the complimentary launderette several times which minimised the weight of the suitcase. Special thanks to the Chief Engineer for making my partner's first cruise unforgettable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have seen very beautiful pictures of the Norwegian Fjords. What better way to see than by cruising into the spectacular fjords. Flam to Gudvangen via the Nareoy fjord ( need separate 3 hour catamaran cruise ) and the sailing ... Read More
We have seen very beautiful pictures of the Norwegian Fjords. What better way to see than by cruising into the spectacular fjords. Flam to Gudvangen via the Nareoy fjord ( need separate 3 hour catamaran cruise ) and the sailing Geiranger fjord to Geiranger are the only 2 UNESCO heritage listed fjords in Norway. The listing tells you of its unique beauty. Need to wake up early 6 am though. The catamaran cruise is better than the return train ride from Flam to Myrdal. You can always do really spectacular Alpine train rides like those of the Bernina Express or even the Glacier Express in Swizerland. The 3 hour return bus trip from Geiranger to Fydals juvet ( gorge ) about 20mins away and then 1 hr to Mt Dalsnibba and then back to Geiranger and over to Eagles Bend Lookout is really worth it. On a good day, we got some really beautiful panaroma photos to treasure. We also enjoyed visting Bergen and up the funicular railway to Mt Floyen and walked around the beautiful lake which I had backpacked and camped overnight there 30 years ago. No internet or maps then. And hey, presto, we saw some campers on the exact same spot. How good is that. Haguesund harbour and town is okay. Free Cunard shuttle. We saw the their Hollywood Oscar equivalent ( the Amanda statute ) as they were celebrting their Norwegian Film festival on same day. BTW, we took a photo of Marilyn Monroe statute by the harbour. Apparently, townsfolk claimed she originated from there and I can't blame them as she does have a beautiful blondish look, right .... Queen Victoria is a beautiful and elegant ship, the travellers are easy and and enjoying themselves, the staff are at ease and offers good customer service both at the Lido, Britannia ( Nick from Boracay, Philippines, thanks for you excellent service ) and room service, our cabin staff always get our cabin clean with fresh towels daily, the food is very good and our dining companions ( Noel and Pam from Parramatta. NSW ) are a hoot and funny. Not bad for an Reserve army major. Loved your bright red coat. What more to expect. The nightly entertainment especially the musical cabarets are good. I attended one talk on the Quirks of Norway and found the facts very amusing. She was a Brit who lived in Norway for umpteen years and has a GOSH. That is the way to go. Our main purpose to dance nightly on one of the best ballrooms at sea with the well known Queens Room Orchestra and singer ( Vincent Wolf ), went very well. Sadiki, the handsome and friendly Caribbean born social host, was good in organising nightly 7.45pm sequence dances. He could have expanded the list a bit rather than the same every night, though. BTW, he is also our zumba instructor and boy, does he work you out in sweat and fun. Vincent belt out some nice waltz and foxtrot numbers during the evening black & tie dinner and royal cunard gala and during Cunard famous afternoon tea sessions. I think Damian Dodd ( singer in QM2 Feb 2018 ) was a bit more engaging with panache. Overall, my view is that dancing in the Queens Room during afternoon teas and especially in the evenings, with fantastic live music after excellent dinners and cabaret shows, is REAL TREAT for many of us. The floor is spacious and the atmosphere is great. It was fun to us. Thanks to some companions we met like Rain, Anthony, for catching us in the short video clips. Something to reminisce when we ride our mobile scooters in years to come. Give it 15 or 20, ok. Touch wood. Finally, thanks to all QV staff, the Queens Room orchestra, Vincent and Sadiki and our fellow companions. We will be on Queen Elizabeth in mid March and April next year and hope to see you. Just one very small tip to other cruisers who may be interested, don't expect too much, keep your fingers cross on weather etc, and play your part to respect and respond positively to others and often, you get back in return in spades. Such is life. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had always wanted to see the Fjords in Norway and having travelled on The Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary and really enjoyed both experiences we were happy to book our trip on the Queen Victoria. Although the staterooms are a little ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the Fjords in Norway and having travelled on The Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary and really enjoyed both experiences we were happy to book our trip on the Queen Victoria. Although the staterooms are a little small, we had a balcony and you soon get used to the small space. Our stateroom attendant Tom was excellent, the bed was turned down each evening and we had ample towels and bathroom products as well as sufficient tea. The dining experience in the Club Britannia restaurant was superb. Lots of choice and the waiting staff were obviously proud of their profession. On one occasion my husband left the restaurant to use the restroom and the waiter refolded his napkin, a lovely gesture. Our waitress Olga and the restaurant manager Mya were lovely, warm and friendly whilst at the same time allowing you to have personal space to enjoy your meal. I had an issue with lunch one day as I am a vegetarian which was completely my fault. A basket of fruit and some chocolates were sent to my room as an apology. Some of the entertainment and classes could have been better. The line dancing teacher clearly did not know what she was doing and had to be supported by a colleague the Zumba class with Sadiqi was very good. The ship is very clean and all of the staff seem to take pride in their work. Th public restrooms are very clean too.Cunard cruises are great if you want to be treated with respect and courtesy. Great for couples and the elderly, not sure about children. I will travel with Cunard again and I would recommend them to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We have done The Med before with Princess , but decided to do it again with Cunard and stay on for the following 2 cruises to Norway then The Balitc (all from/to Southampton). Embarkation at Southampton was the quickest ever. Each time ... Read More
We have done The Med before with Princess , but decided to do it again with Cunard and stay on for the following 2 cruises to Norway then The Balitc (all from/to Southampton). Embarkation at Southampton was the quickest ever. Each time she returned to Southampton we were able to keep the same cabin and dining time and table which made things very easy for us.We were on board a total of 5 weeks. The food was better than we have had in the past on Q.E. and Q.M.2 and seemed to be more choice though for vegetarians this was limited. Entertainment was average , hit and miss,depending on what you like really .The production shows were very average to say at best and as there were only 4 of those they were repeated on each cruise.However some visiting guest shows were very good. Lectures were as expected of Cunard...very good. Lord Digby Jones and the guy from British Customs being very good indeed and found full houses when they were on. They crew were very good and the cabin very good as was the service. We only did one ship,s shore tour as normal for any ship , they are way over priced so we do private tours with only 4 people which is a much better way to tour we find and much better value over all. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Expected a top of the line cruise and for the best part not dissapointed. On par with Celebrity cruises that we have done in the past. Having to dress up with a Jacket every night after 6pm got a little tiresome especially when it ... Read More
Expected a top of the line cruise and for the best part not dissapointed. On par with Celebrity cruises that we have done in the past. Having to dress up with a Jacket every night after 6pm got a little tiresome especially when it ruined a 20s Dress up night. If you love Ballroom dancing this is the cruise for you. Food is great even in the Buffet restaurant. The abundance of quality juices for free in the Lido restaurant at any time is very welcomed. Best entertainment by the ships singers and dancers that we have ever seen,quality westend type of performances. Lots of costume changes and great choreography. Entertainers on for just that cruise very high quality. Liked the guest speakers like Sir Michael Parkinson. We stayed in a Deluxe inside cabin that was set up for mobility challenged guest it was huge and a real treat to come home to . Missed the luxury of face cloth sized hand towels in the restrooms. Drinks are expensive like most cruise companies. Almost no Low sugar drink options just Diet Coke or water. Waiters to take drink orders are very rare to find. Each room attendant works on their own and services 16 cabins . Tipping individually proves to be the best way to reward the 4 persons that we dealt with each day. First cruise line we have used onboard cruise excursions. They were reasonably priced and with Gibraltar got us to the Rock very quickly and early. We had a rude French speaking bus driver in Corsica that would drive us mad singing with one hand only on the wheel . We got 50% refund following a complaint. Boarding and disembarkation very quick and easy. Read Less
Queen Victoria Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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